12 best free workout apps for iPhone

12 best free workout apps for iPhone
  • PublishedMay 11, 2020

Imagine having a fitness trainer in your pocket! Well, I know it sounds weird and confusing. But I mean free workout apps for iPhone.  Having a fitness app on your phone is like having a personal trainer in your pocket.  

Fitness apps enable you to learn more about workouts, meal planning, and sleeping habits. Free workout apps for iPhone go beyond teaching. Many of them show you exactly what to do and leave feedback to help you improve and push towards your health and fitness goals.

Fitness apps perform various functions such as allowing users to set fitness goals, tracking caloric intake, gathering workout ideas, and sharing progress on social media to facilitate health behavior change

Free fitness apps for iPhone feature a social network where you can connect to fellow athletes, provide a log where your activity record and starts are kept so that you can compare your efforts with other friends and elite trainers.

The best free workout apps for iPhone include; Strava, Seven, Nike Training Club, JEFIT, Strong Lifts 5X5, Sleepio, Nike Run Club, 8FIT, Freeletic, FitOn, Keelo, and Sworkit. 

What are the workout apps?

According to Wikipedia, a workout app or fitness app is an application that can be downloaded on any mobile device and used anywhere to get fit.

Free workout apps are fitness applications whose download and use is free of charge. You only need data to access the app store of either IOS or Android of your device.

What can I do with free work out apps?

Free workout apps can be used in many different ways these include;

  • Allow users to set fitness goals
  • Tracking caloric intake
  • Gathering workout ideas
  • Sharing progress on social media to facilitate healthy behavior change
  • It can be used as a platform to promote healthy behavior change with personalized workouts, fitness advice, and nutrition plans.

The best free fitness apps for iPhone 

1. Strava

This is a GPS app that a runner or a cyclist can use to track their workouts. Strava features a social network that runners or cyclists use to communicate and connect. This app keeps your records where your stats such as distance, pace, speed, and elevation gained are posted so that you can compare your hard work with fellow or elite athletes

2. Seven

The app challenges you to train 7 minutes a day for seven months to stay in shape. Seven features an easy to follow step-by-step break down of exercises, with a tracker screen to monitor your progress.

The app has voice prompts that guide you on which exercise to do, for how long, and provides a timer for rest periods. With the seven-minute exercise, you can also connect to friends through the app for encouragement.

3. The Nike training club

Nike was mainly designed for women.  The network boasts of over 100 full-body 4-week workout programs for you to follow. Nike training club partnered with master trainers to bring to you (4-6) week training programs that cover mind-set, sleep, and recovery. 

The app provides detailed how-to videos, track your progress, and can share stats of the accomplishment on social media.


JEFIT is a good resource for those looking to strength training and bodybuildingThe app features detailed HD video exercise instructions, a workout planner, exercise log, progress tracker, and numerous timers which will make you move closer to your workout goals.

5. Strong lifts 5X5

This app is one of the best ways to build muscle and lose fat for experienced lifters. It is a little bit intense for beginners. The app takes you through 45 minutes of training 3 times a week, focusing on large body muscles. With strong lifts 5×5, you can review, monitor, and boost motivation.

6. Sleepio

Sleepio app claims to help you fall asleep 50% faster, reduce the number of times you wake up during the night by 60%, and boost your daytime energy by up to 50%. This is done by analyzing the current sleeping habits and then teaching you new techniques to help organize your lifestyle, thoughts, bedroom, and sleep schedule.  

7. Nike Run Club

The Nike Run Club features guided running workouts with a GPS tracking your run. The app has the voice of a coach that keeps you motivated and have your weekly workouts enjoyable. With Nike Run Club, you can view post-run metrics in your activity summary.

With the apple watch improvements, you have a more personalized challenge leader board, updated quick start selector, and run level cover.

8. 8FIT

With this app, you can replace gym workouts with an at-home program while maintaining the quality of your workout sessions. 8FIT focuses on high-intensity interval training Tabata workouts, alternating between intense workouts and rest periods. The app offers nutritional guides to stimulate your experience.

9. FitOn

This app offers a variety of video exercise classes, featuring different training techniques and objectives. The workouts come with full voice and video instructions and permit you to turn your smartphone or tablet into a portable workout guide. The classes are facilitated by celebrities such as Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness. 

The training feature different workout targets and timeframes 

10. Freeletics

Freeletics features hundreds of workout routines focusing at various muscle groups and fitness levels, using your body weight as the exercise equipment. Audio and video guides provide step-by-step sequences for your workouts.

11. Keelo

Keelo runs a wide range of (HIIT) exercises from bodyweight to basic gym weights and equipment; for both experts and beginners. Each scheduled workout has simple and clear video instruction running from 7 to 20 minutes. The Apple Health integration lets you share data with other fitness apps. 

12. Simple work (sworkit)

Instead of focusing on set exercise routines, Sworkit allows you to create your workout routines. The user chooses either building strength, do yoga, practicing cardio, stretch, pilates, or build a custom routine, as well as a duration of the workout. Sworkit builds a routine of randomized exercises that fit your exercise goals. Each workout is different to make sure that you don’t get bored

Do workout apps work?


Currently, almost everyone, including fitness trainers, is getting into the hype of using fitness apps, and it seems like there is a new fitness app or fitness tech released on the market every day. But do these apps work? Can the phone in your pocket or the watch on your wrist replace the ordinary way of working out?

Well, some people support them while others think it is a joke. Some research has come out in support of fitness apps while others disregard them.

Research in support of fitness apps

According to the study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, where 726 participants under three groups namely; current app users, non-app users, and former app users were analyzed, it was discovered that almost 75 percent of current app users were more active, as opposed to less than half of non-users and former users.

The researchers concluded that on any particular day, individuals using fitness apps are more likely to train in their leisure time compared to those that don’t use the apps. Their research also realized that apps make it easy to overcome barriers like lack of money to the gym, lack of time, and lack of motivation.   

Another research found out that workout apps work are more effective when they’re personalized to the user. With features like training goals, specialized diets, or contact with real live trainers people are motivated and workout consistently.

Research against fitness apps

On the other hand, there are several studies that have come out in disregard of the use of fitness apps, claiming that apps don’t have any impact on people’s workout routines.  

Dr. David E. Conroy, Ph.D. lead a study with a research team from Northwestern University and the data from their study suggested that fitness apps make people lose self-monitoring as one of the most important behavioral changes in the workout process. They concluded that tech makes people lose sight of their progress.

Another study from researchers at Penn State University looked at 200 apps both paid and free from google play and Apple iTunes stores. The research found out that the apps lacked behavior change techniques in their marketing materials

The researchers concluded that the app market is not regulated and users pick on the apps based solely on a developer’s description of the app which is very wrong and problematic.

So what is the way forward?

Having looked at the views of different researchers, who we should follow? Should we delete the apps and go back to the ordinary way of working out? Or embrace the fitness tech revolution and go with the wave of change? 

Because we have research supporting either position, the most important position here is to take control of your workouts and decide what is best for you. The question you should ask at the back of your mind is whether the apps you use keeps you active and helps you to achieve your fitness goal.

If the answer is yes, embrace the tech, use the apps, and continue being active. 

But if you think a fitness app is making you sluggish or work less efficiently either in the gym or at home, consider going back to the ordinary way of training.

What are the advantages of free workout apps for iPhone?

Below are some of the advantages of fitness apps for the iPhone.

1. Motivation

Most workout apps feature notifications and reminders. These keep echoing your health goals and by so doing they keep you motivated and working towards achieving the goals.  They also enable you to track your activities daily which makes you focused all the time.

2. Fitness apps are all in one health tools

Free workout apps for iPhone are like a one-stop center for monitoring all your lifestyle parameters. They measure parameters like step count, water intake, diet, workout routine, and blood pressure. 

You, therefore, don’t need to keep separate records for all these parameters. The fitness app will have all these in your activity record.

3. Save time and money

With the free workout apps for iPhone, you can work out at any place of convenience. You don’t need money to pay at various gym entries. All you need is the app and you will get going.

4. Provide a personal health coach

With fitness apps, the search for personal trainers is put to an end. First, the apps provide an excellent simulator where the workouts feel no different from those with trainers.

Secondly, some free workouts apps for iPhone provide personal health coaches at affordable prices. The coach educates you about fitness and diet.

5. Apps provide health and fitness tips

The apps provide health and fitness tips and guidelines which are very important for progress. The apps also connect you to different users making the sharing of tips and ideas very easy.

6. Track the footsteps

Most mobile phones now feature pedometer apps. These help to keep account of your steps and consequently the distance one has walked. As you monitor the steps, it helps you to improve your step count.

7. Monitor general progress

With fitness apps, you can simply monitor all your workouts and health progress at just one click. Fitness apps give you the activity log where you fill in all your health details and updates. Take an example where you record your blood glucose level and blood pressure levels each time you get them checked. 

This helps you to track your health details all at go. Also, it gives room for comparison between current blood parameters with your previous ones, which gives the overall picture of your health status. 

What are the downsides of free fitness apps for iPhone?

Although fitness apps are good and provide easy to follow workout instructions, they come along with challenges which include the following.

1. Too much focus on the calories

Most of the workout apps focus so much on the calories instead of the ways to burn them. People may end up looking at calories instead of putting the energy and time on other strategies that can enhance their fitness.

2. The technicality of the apps

Most of the apps feature technology that may not be easy to read and understand to a layman. Reading the barcodes of food items may be challenging for some people.

Since the calorie content and nutritional facts of food items are not known, you do not know what exactly you are eating and you could either under-eat or overeat.

3. Too much data

Another issue with fitness apps is that they rely on a multitude of data about health. And with so many alternatives out there, it’s hard to find the insights that work and apply them to mobile products.

It is therefore important that the app’s creators focus on narrowing down the information to learn what makes health activities practical and easy to understand for users. 

4. Community support

When it comes to lifestyle changes, for example, adopting a healthier diet, fitness apps fail to provide active communities to support the user. Many rather post or share success stories but don’t give support to users.

5. GPRS problems

Apps tracking running routes and connecting with other runners make mistakes some times. As a result, users continue using the fitness apps that fail to measure and calculate routes properly which automatically affects the number of calories burned.

6. Drained battery

Another disadvantage of workout apps is that they require a lot of battery charge to track the activity of users. A smartphone that counts steps or measures the heart rate will need long battery life.

7. Lack of automation

Users of workout apps are required to log every food they eat every single day. This is boring and requires a lot of time.  It’s time about time developers find ways users can upload this information quicker and easier.

Physical trainer vs fitness apps; which one is better?


free workout apps

The proponents of workout apps love their ease and accessibility while others prefer a real-life trainer claiming that it’s the only way they see actual results.

Like we discussed above, the most important position here is to take control of your workouts and decide what is best for you. 

If you find workout apps useful and actively help you to achieve your fitness goals, stick to the tech. However, if the personal trainer works better and can give you real-life results stick to the ordinary way of training with a personal trainer.

As technology improves, training has become more accessible, and much less dependent on personal trainers. We have inclined to various wearable tech, gadgets, and fitness apps available at our fingertips. But which is better? can we go with the tech wave or stick to real-life personal trainers.

Here are some of the reasons why we think modern tech or workout apps may be better than having a personal trainer.

1. Fitness apps are affordable

The price of fitness trainer may go for close to 65 pounds in the UK which is more expensive compared to fitness apps that are free on download yet they give many of the same benefits a trainer can give.

2. Apps provide a variety of workouts

A personal trainer can design one exercise regimen for an individual while many fitness apps offer a wide range of routines ranging from complete beginners to more experienced people.

3. Workout on your schedule

Just like any individual, personal trainers need downtime too. This means that they cannot be available 24 hours of the day. You may need to book with the trainer ahead of time. However, fitness apps are available 24/7 you can train at any time of any day.

4. You can track your progress

The best way to an effective workout is to set a plan according to your abilities and goals. Personal trainers have their ways of tracking, measuring progress, and storing data; which may not apply or work for everyone.

Secondly, Fitness apps will offer real-time progress tracking right with your phone.

5. Fitness apps connect you to other trainers

Fitness apps give you a platform where you can interact and share progress on social media with other trainers. This helps to keep you focused and motivated. 

With a personal trainer, it’s only you and the trainer period. You don’t have a chance to take any other advice rather than that of your trainer. This is a very big problem.

Here are some areas where we think a personal trainer may be better than free workout apps for iPhone.

1. Establish lifelong exercise habits

A personal trainer will help you attain your fitness goal but will also help you re-evaluate how you view health and wellness. They make you understand that fitness is a priority in life but not an item to juggle on the to-do list. However, this extra insight cannot be given to you by fitness apps  

2. Set realist goals

Nothing is more painful than failing to accomplish a given goal. While fitness apps are good, they do not guide you on setting achievable or attainable goals. A personal trainer with good experience may be able to guide you when it comes to goal setting as far as fitness is concerned.

3. Avoid injuries

Image by aebopleidingen from Pixabay

Any person exercising is liable to injuries if he or she happens to use gym equipment they are not familiar with. This is more common with weight lifters. However, in the presence of a personal trainer, injuries are minimal since you are under watch. However, with fitness apps, injuries are inevitable.

4. Breakthrough the plateau

Every gym-goer, experienced or newbie, will experience a plateau. With fitness apps, it is hard if not impossible, to deal with such a paradox. But a personal trainer can identify new techniques to push you beyond the plateau.

5. Keep clients accountable

It is easy to fall off the wagon when there is no one to hold you accountable. Fitness apps can never hold you accountable since there is always another workout to follow. But with a personal trainer, the individual expects someone to ask him or her questions and this provides a much better push.

Having said that, the individual should choose what is best for him or her to stay active, healthy, and progressive.

Bottom line

As technology improves year in year out, and virtual training becoming more accessible, people are much less dependent on personal trainers. Many have embraced various wearable tech, gadgets, and fitness apps available at our fingertips.

The most important position here is to take control of your workouts and decide what is best for you. The question you should as at the back of your mind is whether the free workout apps for iPhone you use keeps you active and helps achieve your fitness goal or it is the personal trainer and ordinary workouts that are more fruitful to you.

Before you go we have here an important article that can complement the knowledge you have got from the above article. This is about exercises for weight loss. It teaches you various techniques of exercise, how often you should exercise, and the food you may eat for effective fitness.


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